Moments That Matter: Engaging in RealLife Not ScreenLife

We can’t just set limits on screen time without replacing that time with better activities and hobbies to fulfill our lives. Use the following list of suggestions and ideas as a starting point for your family to brainstorm and come up with even better and personalized ways that you can engage in RealLife and reclaim the time wasted in ScreenLife.

Every family is amazingly, beautifully and quirkily unique. Start with things that your family already loves to do, either individually or together. But don’t stop there. Try out new things to stretch and grow yourselves. You never know what you might find out about yourself and one another - and you’ll probably laugh a lot in the process.

1. Consider canceling your cable or digital TV package. Invest that money into new activities or hobbies:

o   A trampoline?

o   A four wheeler?

o   Gym, golf or ski memberships?

o   Sports equipment?

o   Save for a pool?

o   Rent a boat?

2. Get outside.

o   Plan a family hiking trip

o   Go on a family camping trip

o   Learn archery

o   Go bike riding

o   Set up a fire pit in the backyard

o   Do “Family Olympics” and compete in relays

o   Create a water park in your backyard with sprinklers, buckets, hoses, water guns, or a slip and slide

o   Make a picnic lunch and head out to your favorite spot for a traditional picnic

3. Exercise together.

o   Do an exercise/dance video as a family – and laugh

o   Walk the neighborhood

o   Bike to the store together

o   Invest in some free weights and mats and teach your kids

o   Have pushup/sit up/pull up/running competitions as a family

4. Set family goals and allow yourself, your spouse and your kids to dream:

o   An anniversary trip to Spain with your spouse?

o   Family trip to Disney World?

o   Camping in the Colorado Rockies?

o   Buying a boat?

o   Building a chicken coop?

5. Instead of upgrading to the newest iPhone with retina display clarity (who needs to see your pores beside your dermatologist anyway?), save the money for a killer family vacation

6. Pray together as a family.

o   Ways you can serve others

o   Be supportive of one another

o   Opportunities to grow together.

7. Read together as a family.

o   Find a book series everyone can get into

o   Have each member pick their favorite book

8. Consider decreasing the number of devices in your house and spend the money on:

o   Excursions

o   Individual dates with your kids

o   Babysitters for date nights with your spouse

o   New board games

9. Goals mean sacrifice and the learning the value of hard work. Encourage your age-appropriate kids to work for their goals by:

o   Cutting lawns

o   Babysitting

o   Raking leaves

o   Pay them for extra chores around the house

10. Do something new:

o   Take a cooking class

o   Sign up your family for an art class together

o   Go canoeing, kayaking, or try a stand up paddle board

o   Build a fort in the backyard

o   Try your hands at building a giant JENGA game from 2x4s

o   Do a family photo scavenger hunt around the city. Put together a list of ten random objects around town and see how fast you can complete the hunt (e.g. picture with a dinosaur, a fireman, with your foot in the fountain, etc.)

o   Turn off all the lights and play hide-and-go-seek in your house

o   Have a Fear Factor Food Night

o   Do an outdoor movie night. Take your laptop out in the backyard and make popcorn

o   Cook dinner as a family. Each person is responsible for one dish – their favorite!

o   Do a fun family photo session – in costumes. Come up with a theme for your family, get dressed up and have a family friend take pictures. 

11. Try New Places:

o   Go to an arcade as a family

o   Go to a local baseball game

o   Dine at a restaurant you’ve never been to, with new foods

o   Pretend you’re a tourist for the day and hit the local tourist traps

o   Take a day road trip to another city. Have someone pick the city, another pick a lunch spot, another choose an activity, another choose a snack stop.